How To

How to Find Graffiti Spots (6 Tips & Tricks)

grey eagle street graffiti in brick lane
Written by Richard September

Looking for a local chill spot to practice your graffiti? Here’s a few tips for finding one near you.

Finding places to practice graffiti isn’t easy. Especially if you’re new to the game.

It can also be quite intimidating to ask other people or to rock up somewhere without knowing if it’s a chill place to paint.

Every new graffiti artist has been in the same position when they started out too. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Here are 6 ways to find graffiti spots near you that are chill to paint so you can improve your graffiti style before taking to the streets.

1. Look on map of london legal graffiti walls

Legal Walls is a website designed to help graffiti artists from around the globe find nearby graffiti spots that are legal to paint.

Be careful though, as many of the spots on the website aren’t technically legal. Some just tolerate graffiti. Whereas others are far out of the way so the chances of being caught by someone are slim.

There is a comment section for graffiti artists to update the status of a spot. But the information can be quite outdated as it’s not a massively popular website.

Although you might be lucky to find a spot to paint near you on Legal Walls, remember that there are way more spots out there than what’s on the site.

And typically, the best spots won’t be found on Legals Walls because graffiti artists don’t want to give them away that easily (or, they aren’t legal). So you’ll need to be a bit more creative to find the best graffiti spots.

The turnover at graffiti spots on Legal Walls is usually pretty high too. So don’t expect your pieces to last long as they can be very popular places to paint.

2. Use Google Maps

abandoned graffiti spot on google maps

Google Maps is a very useful platform for finding chill graffiti spots to paint.

It can save you a load of time compared to going out and physically finding spots. And it’s especially useful if you’ve never been to the city or country you’re travelling to, as you can find your feet before you get there.

When searching for graffiti spots, investigate places like:

  • Abandoned or derelict buildings
  • Disused train tracks
  • The outskirts of the city
  • Industrial and commercial areas
  • Underneath/around highway bridges and viaducts
  • Highway and street underpasses
  • Warehouses and factories

Use the 3D feature on Google Maps and reorient yourself to get a closer look if you think you’ve found a good spot.

Keep in mind, however, that Google Maps snapshots can be outdated. So don’t be surprised if you get to the spot and it’s no longer chill or has gone completely.

3. Use Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps for graffiti artists. So it’s a great place to look if you need some inspiration for where to paint.

If you’re not already following local graffiti artists or photographers in your area, use hashtags or the Places feature to search around the area you want to paint.

For example, #londongraffiti returns over 581,000 posts. After sorting by Recent to find active spots, look for clues as to where the photo was taken.

It may simply be tagged in the post, which makes it super easy to find. Otherwise, you may have to do some investigative work to identify where the spot is in the city.

4. Ask other graffiti writers

graffiti artists talking to each other on iMessage

Asking other graffiti writers is one of the best ways to find out about spots. In fact, if you want to be put on to the best spots, these are the guys to ask.

However, graffiti writers usually don’t give away spots easily. Especially if they’ve painted them already. They don’t want the spot to get too popular and have their pieces painted over.

That’s why it’s important that you have a good relationship with the person you’re asking. You’ll come across as a toy if you don’t know the person, or didn’t make any effort at trying to find spots yourself.

The best way to get put on to spots is to build relationships with other graffiti writers. That way, when the time comes, you won’t have a problem asking them for spots to paint.

5. Ask in graffiti shops

From my experience, staff in graffiti shops have always been super helpful. Especially when I’ve been new to a city.

If you’ve supported them by buying some paint and whatever else, it can’t hurt to ask them for a good place to paint if you’re stuck for spots.

Many graffiti shops have local spots or popular spots in the city where graffiti writers go to practise their style. They usually have a high turnover, but if you just want somewhere to paint, they can be a good option.

Like any spot you find, paint at your own risk, however. As they might not always be completely legal.

If they can help you, the worst they can say is no, so don’t worry about it too much. Plus, you can use the other tips in this guide to keep looking anyway.

6. Go out and explore the old-school way

graffiti on trains in napoli italy

Last but certainly not least is the most traditional method of finding graffiti spots on this list: going out and finding them yourself.

There’s really no better way to find spots than this. You’ll have the chance to explore new areas, plan for yourself ways to get in, and most likely see a load of sweet graffiti in the process.

Using platforms like Google Maps and other internet apps has its flaws. The information could be outdated, or the spot might not be there anymore. By going out and looking for yourself, you’ll know what’s what pretty quickly.

This is my favourite method of finding graffiti spots near where I am, and hopefully, you’ll find it to be the best too.

You also might find a load of other spots en route to the one you’re checking out too. So bring some extra spray paint with you just in case.

Good luck.

Got a good tip for finding graffiti spots? Drop a comment below and I’ll add it to the list.

About the author

Richard September

Growing up in London, I've always been fascinated by the graffiti that covers the cityscape. From seeing it around where I lived to reading it on the train lines, I was hooked straight away. For over 15 years, I've been painting graffiti and immersing myself in the culture. I graduated from the University of Sussex in 2019 with a BA in Sociology and Media Studies. My final year research project, entitled "Vigilant Vandalism or Mindless Mischief: A Narrative Analysis of Graffiti Writers in London & Brighton", exposed me to the lives of graffiti writers in the field and better shaped my understanding of the culture. I created Graff Storm in 2021 with the mission to help new artists learn more about graffiti culture, find the right tools and avoid toy status.

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